By C. / Green, M. S. (Edts.) Domb

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Indeed it is this philosophy of reductionism which has propelled the most recent studies such as String Theory or other Quantum Gravity approaches. Decades of labour has gone into these endeavours and the research output has been enormous. Nevertheless we seem to have reached an impasse of a type that is all too familiar from the past. There are minor discrepancies or corrections, which nevertheless would point to, not just an incremental change of our concepts, ws-book9x6 February 18, 2008 11:35 World Scientific Book - 9in x 6in The Limits of Physics ws-book9x6 43 but rather to a paradigm shift itself of the type we witnessed with Kepler’s ellipses or Einstein’s Relativity or Quantum Theory.

The distinction between fundamental laws and laws descending from them is a myth. In his words, “... ” He argues that all fundamental constants require an environmental context to make sense. This is contrary to the reductionist view that basic bricks build up structures. Laughlin takes pain to bring to our notice that there is now a paradigm shift from the older reductionist view to a view of emergence. For him Klitzing’s beautiful experiment bringing out the Quantum Hall effect is symbolic of the new ethos.

This has been the age old tussle between “being” and “becoming”. cit), “All of physics in my view, will be seen someday to follow the pattern of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, of ws-book9x6 February 18, 2008 11:35 World Scientific Book - 9in x 6in Law Without Law ws-book9x6 47 regularity based on chaos, of “law without law”. ” unless we either postulate a priori laws or we take shelter behind an anthropic argument.

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